Asher Chancey’s Article on Forty Current Players Bound for the Hall of Fame Impresses…but There Are a Few Problems.

By Keith Glab 8/6/05

Schoenfield’s Article

Asher’s Article

It’s no secret that Asher and I have different opinions on our Top 100 Lists, but Asher’s latest article on the 40 active ballplayers likely bound for the hall illustrates an even greater disparity on who we believe is deserving of the hall. What follows is an analysis of his article, as well as a preview of some of the arguments we’ll instigate when we reveal our Top 200 lists in September.

Tom Glavine

There are five members of the 250-Wins Club who are not in the Hall of Fame, and of those five, only Jim Kaat (283) and Jack Morris (254) recorded wins in the 20th Century. But Tom has a career ERA 0.42 lower than Jack does, and a Win % .056 better than Jim does, to go along with a career win total that will likely match Kaat’s but fall short of 300. Basically, Kaat and Morris were solid workhorse pitchers, and Glavine is a great workhorse pitcher in an era that isn’t conducive to pitching lots of innings. Were it not for the strike-shortened seasons of ’94 and ’95, Glavine would have had 13 consecutive years with over 200 IP, and he finished in the top five in NL IP for seven of those 13 years. If Tom Glavine doesn’t make the Hall, I’ll eat Asher’s Blue Jays hat.

John Smoltz

Asher: "[W]hat Smoltz did as a closer does NOT improve his Hall of Fame resume."


Here’s a news flash: Smoltz’s three years as a closer were about as good as any three year stretch that Dennis Eckersley had as a closer. In fact, Smoltz is second all-time in save percentage (min. 100 saves) to some French Canadian guy who wears thick goggles. Plus, over their careers, Smoltz has had an ERA 26% lower than the rest of his league while the Eck’s is just 16% lower. So while Smoltz should thank Eckersley for opening Cooperstown’s doors for schizophrenic pitchers, he’ll have to do so in passing, as he’ll be housed with the solid HOFers whereas Eckersley remains a doorman for borderline pitchers of all types.

Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols just became the first player in ML history to hit over 30 homers in each of his first five seasons. So not only is it ludicrous to compare him to the likes of Mattingly and Murphy, but guys like Musial and DiMaggio aren’t even in Pujols’ league. Here are the Adjusted Batting runs for the players in question:


ABR 1st 4 Full Seasons

Career ABR

Albert Pujols



Stan Musial



Joe DiMaggio



Don Mattingly



Dale Murphy



Ted Williams is the only player to start out his hitting career better than Albert Pujols, with 298 ABR is his first four seasons. Hopefully, by the time Albert is HoF eligible we will see voters actually looking at things like batting runs in their evaluations… Barring a career-ending injury (to someone who’s never been on the DL), Pujols is in.

Vladimir Guerrero

300 homers before the age of 30, and a career .325 hitter. Need I write more?

Nomar Garciaparra

How many shortstops have won multiple batting titles? Only Luke Appling, Honus Wagner, and Nomar Garciaparra. Even if he finishes his career with nine years as an unproductive first baseman, Nomar will get in with the Banks precident.

As a side note, Asher claims to have invented Luke Appling much in the same way that Peter Gammons claims to have invented OPS. Well Asher, if you’re impressed with a shortstop that hits .310 in the 30’s and 40’s, how about this shortstop hitting .320 in the 90’s and 00’s?

Curt Schilling

Schilling’s 130 ERA+ should be impressive enough, but factor in that he’s only allowed 62 unearned runs in his entire career, and he’s far more deserving than guys like Steve Carlton and Juan Marichal. Curt allows unearned runs to score less than half as often as Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson do per inning. He also has the second best K/BB ratio of all time (to Pedro, of course).

Gary Sheffield

I suspect that Asher merely cut and pasted his 30 hitters better than Sheffield list from his Top 100 List, but it’s worth pointing out that Home Run Baker and Charlie Gehringer weren’t nearly as potent of hitters as Sheffield is. Whether you want to argue that they’re more valuable because of the positions that they play opens up a whole other jar of steroid cream.

Andruw Jones, Jim Edmonds, and Johnny Damon

Whoa! (part 2)

It’s too early for guys like Rolen and Vlad, but you’re giving the nod to Andruw Jones and Johnny Damon? All four have played similar amounts of time, but Rolen and Vlad combined for 533 ABR through 2004 while Jones and Damon scrounged up 76 between the two of them. Now Andruw and Johnny D are having career years, and I can see how that can cause temporary near-sightedness, but this is temporary insanity! Sure, Jones is great on defense, but right now he’s just DeWayne Murphy with a good publicist. Johnny Damon has one of the worst outfield arms in the game. Ridiculous!

And Edmonds? The guy has already done more offensively than Jones and Damon could ever hope to do, and he must be the all time leader in Web Gems, You think that people are going to keep him out of the hall? Sorry, bub. He’s in.

Tim Hudson

Pedro Martinez is the all-time Win % leader with an incredible .711 mark. After winning # 100 for his career on Saturday, Hudson is tied for second at .690 with Whitey Ford and Dave Foutz. Now Foutz played in the 19th century and only totaled 145 wins, explaining why he isn’t in the Hall of Fame. But I can’t think of what Hudson would have to do after the age of 30 to mess up his shot at the Hall. Certainly, as long as he wears a Braves uniform he’ll benefit from the nurturing trio of Bobby Cox, Leo Mazzone, and Andruw Jones and rack up the milestones with alacrity.

So I seem to advocate a lot more active players than Asher and David do. How do I cut my list down to 40? Here’s how it looks:

Top 20______________20-40

Roger Clemens_______Curt Schilling

Greg Maddux_________Mike Mussina

Randy Johnson_______Tom Glavine

Pedro Martinez______John Smoltz

Mariano Rivera______Trevor Hoffman

Alex Rodriguez______Mark Buehrle

Gary Sheffield______Scott Rolen

Manny Ramirez_______Nomar Garciaparra

Craig Biggio________Derek Jeter

Jeff Bagwell________Bernie Williams

Frank Thomas________Albert Pujols

Mike Piazza_________Todd Helton

Chipper Jones_______Larry Walker

Rafael Palmeiro_____Sammy Sosa

Jim Edmonds_________Jorge Posada

Jim Thome___________Jeff Kent

Ken Griffey Jr._____Ivan Rodriguez

Vlad Guerrero_______Miguel Tejada


And it’s worth repeating that these are the players who I think will get elected, rather than those who deserve to be elected. Some notables that will likely deserve it but won’t likely make it include Jason Giambi, Carlos Delgado, Brian Giles, and most egregiously, Kevin Brown.